Brother Yusef has been described as a master solo guitarist, as well as a uniquely passionate vocalist. His performances are as raw, honest and real as the genre has ever aspired to be. Honed over thirty years, he calls his multifaceted style, fattback blues for it’s a rich mix of Delta , Chicago and Texas blues alongside a hard driving Louisiana stomp. Fattback Blues combines "traditional" fingerpicking and slide guitar playing with the contemporary feel of urban blues, rock and funk. He uses his right hand thumb to beat out a percussive bass-line and shuffle, while the index finger plays rhythm and lead lines, creating a full band sound with a solo guitar.
Born in Bakersfield California and later moving with his family to Southern California, Yusef picked up the guitar at 19 experimenting jazz, reggae, and R&B. He would find himself at a musical crossroads in 1989 while paying his last respects to his grandfather at his childhood church. A soloist at the funeral played a hymn on guitar that connected him to his grandfather, elders and ancestors in the Blues
Brother Yusef approaches the blues from a musical, spiritual and social context. He is quoted as saying, “for African Americans blues has been about survival, healing and freedom ”.
Brother Yusef has gained worldwide recognition performing at various blues and music festivals, social dance events and concert performances both nationally and internationally. He takes his audience on a musical journey from a backwoods jook joint to the fiery emotions of the sanctified church.
The Fattback Sound
Brother Yusef’s music is exuberant, bouncing with a highly rhythmic beat and slippery with a wildly flailing slide; this Bakersfield born, dreadlocked bluesman chugs and stomps the blues with impassioned devotion. By combining "traditional" finger picking and slide guitar with the contemporary feel of urban blues, Brother Yusef gives the past and present equal rights on stage. With verve and spark, his renditions of the old classic blues are delivered with a funky, deep-roots style that will make anyone sit up and listen.
A stand-out talent
If you love the grit of grinding passionate blues you’ll love Brother Yusef. Absolutely a stand-out talent by any measure… If you stand still while listening to his performance, check into a hospital— you’ve flat lined!
promo provided courtesy of
EPCOR CENTRE for the Performing Arts, Calgary Alberta, Canada
Live at Downtown Disney
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Downtown Disney Resort, Anaheim California •2001- 2016
Doheny Blues Festival, Dana Point California 2003 & 2005
House of Blues, Anaheim. Opening act for James Brown 2004
2006 Belgium Rhythm n Blues Festival, Peer Belgium 2006
Reno Dance Sensation 2006 & 2007
Swift Current Stir Crazy Blues Festival Canada 2011
Saskatoon Blues Festival, Canada 2011
Epcore Centre for the Performing Arts, Canada 2011
Big Apple Blues, Balboa & Lindy Exchange, New York City 2011 & 2013
Waterfront Blues Festival, Portland Oregon 2011 & 2017
Emerald City Blues Festival, Seattle Washington 2011
Holy City Blues Exchange, Charleston South Carolina 2011
Thunder Bay Blues Festival, Thunder Bay Ontario - 2015
Korea Blues Camp 2015 Ga pyung, South Korea
Israel Feelin Blues Dance Festival 2016 - Tel Aviv, Israel
Busan Swing Festival 2016 - Busan, South Korea
2017 Mo Better Blues Dance Festival - Nashville TN.
Rockin & Swingin Dance Festival 2017- Seoul Korea